1 Friday, 4 July 2003
2 [Defence Rejoinder]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case Number
7 IT-95-9-T, The Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and
8 Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: We shall proceed with rejoinder arguments.
10 Mr. Pantelic.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, thank you. Good morning, Your Honours.
12 Yesterday, Mr. Weiner said, it's at page 19 of yesterday's
13 transcript -- he quoted Prosecution witness, star Witness Todorovic, as
14 saying "Dr. Simic was the person who had the authority in Samac."
15 Transcript 10230. This is a misleading reference taken out of context.
16 Just a few sentences after this, as the Prosecution further pressed
17 Todorovic about Dr. Simic's so-called power and authority, Todorovic
18 explained that, I quote: "It's a matter of interpretation." Again, if I
19 remember - she, meaning Ms. Nancy Paterson - so "she asked me whether
20 Mr. Blagoje Simic enjoyed authority among the people. And I said: Yes,
21 he did, in the sense that people respected him." Todorovic continued
22 saying that, I'm quoting: "What I meant was that he was in a good
23 standing with the people." Same page, 10230. He repeated this sentiment
24 again at transcript 10231. Todorovic even further admitted that he did
25 not know whether Dr. Simic had the legal authority to issue orders. This
1 hardly establishes that Dr. Simic was, I'm quoting, "powerful leader" as
2 Mr. Weiner made him out to be.
3 With regard to the so-called authority of Dr. Simic to appoint
4 military commanders, the Defence reiterates its submission in its brief,
5 paras 596, 478, and 639. The Trial Chamber heard testimony from several
6 witnesses who confirmed that the appointment of military officials is
7 under the authority of the superior military command, not civilian
8 municipal officials. In our particular case, the superior commander was
9 the 17th corps under the command of Colonel Dencic. This is also
10 consistent with the laws and chain of command of Republika Srpska army.
11 It is absurd to suggest that the municipal functionary would have the
12 authority to appoint Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, as a commander of 2nd
13 Posavina brigade. Several Defence witnesses gave evidence that the
14 appointment of military commander at brigade level was under the authority
15 of superior military command, which in our case was the east Bosnian corps
16 under the command of Colonel Dencic. For example, Simeon Simic,
17 transcript 13275-6; Dusan Tanasic, transcript 13759; Savo Popovic,
18 transcript 16263.
19 In addition, Your Honours, Witness Maksim Simeunovic, assistant
20 commander for intelligence of the 17th Tactical Group gave evidence, it's
21 transcript 15916, that Colonel Dencic had arrived at the command post
22 bringing the order on appointment and promotion of Crni as the commander
23 of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. He greeted Crni in a good way, and they
24 addressed each other as best man, in B/C/S "kum," which is English meaning
25 of best man. Colonel Dencic and Crni. Also assistant commander for
1 intelligence gave evidence that former commander of 2nd Posavina Brigade,
2 Colonel Mico Djurdjevic, at that time was promoted to the higher position
3 as the commander of larger military unit based in Brcko, and that was 1st
4 Posavina Brigade. Transcript 15953-55.
5 Again, the star witness for the Prosecution, Mr. Todorovic, gave
6 evidence, it's at transcript 10236, that Colonel Dencic, commander of the
7 East Bosnian Corps pursuant to his authority, pursuant to his military
8 position, his power as a command of superior unit, appointed Crni.
9 Further Todorovic testified that during the meeting in Ugljevik, former
10 commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, Colonel Mico Djurdjevic expressed
11 his opinion that, and I'm quoting the word of the star witness of the
12 Prosecution, what Colonel Djurdjevic said at that occasion: "I think it
13 is better for Crni to be a commander because soldiers were in awe of him
14 and would follow him." Two Colonels speaking on the occasion of the
15 meeting at the East Bosnian Corps command. They are shouting -- they
16 speaking as colleagues on military issues, appointments and other
17 matters. Todorovic testified that the commander of East Bosnian Corps had
18 made the decision of appointment on his own and in accordance with his
19 authority as a superior military commander.
20 With regard to Exhibit P115 and P117, as well as P127, the Defence
21 reiterates its position expressed in its brief, in the light of the fact
22 that the tensions between army and civilian authorities were commonly
23 known throughout the wartime period in Republika Srpska and in the light
24 of the fact that the Prosecution during trial proceedings firmly opposed
25 work, decisions, and judgements of military courts or martial courts of
1 Republika Srpska, it is clear that this Trial Chamber should not attach
2 any weight to this exhibit since in this case, the Prosecution obviously
3 contradicts itself. On one side, they are in favour of certain work of
4 military courts of Republika Srpska, but on the other side, when no Serbs
5 were sentenced, were under the procedure of the same courts, same military
6 courts of Republika Srpska, it's illegitimate. It's a kangaroo court.
7 It's a mock trial.
8 Another issue, with regard to the issue of the presence of
9 Dr. Simic in the months following his medical treatment after he was
10 wounded by the end of July, the Defence emphasised that Dr. Simic was
11 significantly unable to perform his duties, and only occasionally he
12 participated in meetings with various officials. We explained that in our
13 brief in details. In any case, there is nothing to suggest that Dr. Simic
14 was involved in any criminal activity throughout the period covered by the
15 indictment. There is no evidence to that extent. And we clearly stated
16 and substantiated on several occasions during final brief and closing
18 With respect to the Prosecution Exhibit P128, the Defence
19 reiterates its position stated in our final brief. It's at page 170. And
20 emphasise that the document which is neither signed nor stamped, bears no
21 probative value. Not to mention that the Prosecution failed to establish
22 the chain of custody regarding this document, and that there is no
23 evidence or testimony which would prove beyond reasonable doubt that this
24 document was ever received, discussed, or implemented in the municipality
25 of Bosanski Samac. Especially keeping in mind destruction of all means of
1 communication at that time between Samac municipal authorities and the
2 republican level. This particular submission is related to the procedural
3 issues, namely the issue of the weight of the evidence. But assuming
4 the -- of this particular exhibit existed, first of all, each case should
5 be viewed on the basis of its specificity and in accordance with the
6 evidence and facts in each particular case. One exhibit cannot be
7 sufficient for the determination of the case in totality.
8 So which conclusions can be drawn with regard to Defence case in
9 respect to this document? It is clear that the republican level
10 authorities intended to limit the competencies of the Crisis Staff to
11 nonmilitary and nonpolice functions. In particular, in paragraph 1 in
12 this document, we can find the basis, the legislation basis that the
13 Crisis Staff actually are municipal assemblies throughout the period of
14 war when the Municipal Assemblies cannot be convened. So in addition,
15 there is overwhelming evidence shown that the Crisis Staff in Samac was
16 varied and diverse. We have evidences to that extent. In Samac, for
17 example, the evidence shows that different professionals from all walks of
18 life participated in the Crisis Staff when problems concerning their field
19 of expertise arose. Waterworks, power supply, medical care, organisation
20 of the work in companies, in public state companies, economy in wartime,
21 et cetera, et cetera. We heard many evidences to that extent.
22 Another point I would like to make is the clear distinction
23 between civilian authorities and military and police, in terms of command
24 authority. The Prosecution wants to portray Dr. Simic ass having control
25 or authority over the military and police in Samac municipality. The
1 evidence does not bear this out. The Prosecution claims the republican
2 government directed the Crisis Staff to, inter alia, prevent looting and
3 war profiteering, the maltreatment of prisoners of war, and to provide for
4 the safety of the population, for the property. The Prosecution's
5 interpretation of this document is erroneous. The evidence overwhelming
6 shows that these were areas over which the police and military had control
7 before, during, and after the conflict. Further, this so-called directive
8 explicitly stated that "the command of the TO and police forces is under
9 the exclusive authority of the professional staff," which means military
10 and police officers. "And therefore, any interference regarding the
11 command of the TO and/or the use of the police forces must be prevented."
12 In addition, the case law of this Tribunal, Your Honours, and
13 international law in general clearly established the responsibility of the
14 military and police with regard to the law and order, the safety of the
15 population, the protection of property, and the treatment of prisoners of
16 war. Article 86, 87 of additional protocols, then we have a hostage
17 case, we have the Blaskic case within the jurisdiction of this Tribunal,
18 Krstic case, that's a well-established issue, the role and responsibility
19 of the military commander within his zone of responsibility.
20 Assistant commander for intelligence for 17th Tactical Group,
21 Maksim Simeunovic, a witness for Simo Zaric and his superior, testified
22 that Colonel Nikolic, commander of 17th Tactical Group, state at meeting
23 with the municipal officials, and I'm quoting: "He wanted to have the
24 situation under his control within his area of responsibility." He said
25 that he would prevent lootings that did take place, and he asked for
1 support and he received that, I'm underlining, support from the persons
2 who were present at that meeting. Not orders. Colonel Nikolic did not
3 receive orders or instructions. That's transcript 15911. Obviously
4 Colonel Nikolic, an experienced and well-trained officer, as well as a
5 commander of 7.000 soldiers in the area, knew which responsibilities were
6 his and which belonged to the Crisis Staff, to civilian authorities.
7 The evidence in this case, Your Honours, clearly shows that the
8 Crisis Staff's role was the same as the municipal assembly. In terms of
9 economic issues and the other aspect of life, it is clear that the
10 Executive Board, not the Crisis Staff, was in charge. In sum, what did
11 the Crisis Staff have authority over? The police? No. The military?
12 No. The POWs? No. The Executive Board? No. Economic activity? No.
13 Yesterday, our learned colleague Mr. Re stated that the
14 Prosecution never suggested that the SDS is a joint criminal enterprise or
15 that the SDS is a criminal organisation. The Defence agrees with Mr. Re.
16 Needless to mention that at this time, a member of collective presidency
17 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and actually copresident, because there are three
18 copresidents from three constituent people from Bosnia sitting as members
19 of the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so at this particular time, Your
20 Honours, the member of SDS party from Republika Srpska is a head of state
21 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. His name is Mr. Paravac, a member and
22 candidate of SDS.
23 13 years after the establishment of the SDS, this party was never
24 banned, this party was never accused as a criminal organisation, and
25 still - I'm not speaking on behalf of this party, no parties at all - and
1 still this party enjoys a great support in the voters' body of Republika
2 Srpska and elsewhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Let me remind you that at
3 this particular moment, HDZ, SDA, and SDS formed three members presidency
4 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, hopefully, I believe that all responsible top
5 political leaders learned something from the recent history and as we know
6 that in 1992, all three parties were also sharing power. So I hope with a
7 little friendship of international forces, nothing serious will happen.
8 But that's just for the record.
9 However, the Defence feels it necessary to refresh Mr. Re's memory
10 with regard to some words that he used yesterday. In the opening
11 statement made by his colleague, Mr. Di Fazio, that was in September 2001,
12 Mr. Re was not with us at that time. So Mr. Di Fazio used the very words
13 the Prosecution used to begin its case. Mr. Di Fazio often placed the
14 blame squarely on the SDS. He said, for example, that the SDS began to
15 make plans regarding the creation of separate Serb state within Bosnia.
16 This is at transcript 927. Then, through the SDS policy of ethnic
17 cleansing, he clearly stated that these were the acts of the SDS.
18 Mr. Di Fazio did not use the word "some members of the SDS" or "other
19 people," as Mr. Re stated yesterday. And needless to remind you, Your
20 Honours, and all participants in this case with which force, how fiercely
21 the Prosecution cross-examined the witnesses especially of Simo Zaric
22 witnesses, military officials, political opponents of Dr. Simic and the
23 SDS with regard to the same issue, the SDS did that, the SDS did this, et
24 cetera, et cetera. We have everything on the transcript.
25 Again, in the fifth amended indictment in paragraphs 23 and 24,
1 his superior, superior of Mr. Re, his superior, Deputy Prosecutor Graham
2 Blewitt stated "the SDS" - again, not"certain members of the SDS," or
3 other people - "and the JNA worked on the creation of separate Serb
4 municipalities through the means of ethnic cleansing." Moreover, the
5 Prosecution seeks to downplay its sudden shift from the use of term
6 "acting in concert together" in its five indictments and throughout the
7 trial to the more comprehensive term "joint criminal enterprise" in its
8 final trial brief and in final oral arguments. The Prosecution
9 disingenuously states that the Defence should have known that the
10 Prosecution meant joint criminal enterprise when it used the term "acting
11 in concert with others." However, the OTP has been specifically using the
12 concept and term joint criminal enterprise in detail in no less than 17
13 indictments dating back to 1991 -- 1999. 1999.
14 And dated back to 1999. And now, at the end of two years of these
15 proceedings, the Prosecution justifies this sudden switch to simply
16 employing a term more recently preferred by the Tribunal, but the OTP has
17 been using the term "joint criminal enterprise" for the past four years,
18 and yet the Prosecution did not mention this term, this concept, over the
19 past two years of this trial, until the last month of proceedings. At the
20 minimum, this lack of persistence in terminology coming so late in this
21 case creates unnecessary confusion. The Prosecution dismissed the Defence
22 claim that switching such vital terminology at this late stage introduces
23 vagueness and ambiguity by arguing that the Defence should have raised
24 that issue after the indictment was amended. Well, again, Mr. Re, since
25 he was not there at that time, he forgets that the Defence did raise this
1 issue when it objected to the use of the term "acting in concert together"
2 and other terms in its opposition, in its objections to the form of the
3 fourth amended indictment. While the Trial Chamber did the introduction
4 of this term, it also stated it was limited to count 1. In fact, this
5 Honourable Trial Chamber, at several points in its decision on the
6 Prosecution motion to amend the indictment, this decision was rendered on
7 the 20 December 2001, expressed concerns over the lack of precision of
8 terms used by the Prosecution, such as "including among others" this is
9 paragraph 10 of said decision. And then, I'm quoting, "including but not
10 limited to." This is paragraph 12 of said decision. And then what this
11 Honourable Trial Chamber said which create "possible confusion in the
12 indictment." It was said in paragraph 19. Specifically this Honourable
13 Trial Chamber concluded that "the use of such imprecise and ambiguous
14 terms, particularly when used in relation to material facts, including the
15 underlying facts upon which the Prosecution charge is based, do not
16 provide the accused with sufficient notice of the nature of the case they
17 have to answer." This is in paragraph 10. Finally, "the chronic lack of
18 specificity used by the Prosecution prompted this Honourable Trial Chamber
19 to find that many of the issues raised are due to the lack of diligence on
20 the part of the Prosecution." This is paragraph 29.
21 In sum, the Defence has submitted that the terms "acting in
22 concert together" and "joint criminal enterprise" are not interchangeable.
23 Neither Judge Hunt, nor any of the Trial Chamber within this Honourable
24 Tribunal have used these terms interchangeably. To switch these terms so
25 late in the game creates confusion and introduces uncertainty as to the
1 precise nature of the allegation the Defence was to defend against.
2 Lastly, due to the limited time for this oral submission, the Defence
3 respectfully directs the Trial Chamber to its final brief and its final
4 oral argument for the basis of the Defence position.
5 And another matter of sort of imprecision, maybe I'm wrong, but in
6 paragraph 23 of the indictment, fifth amended indictment, there is a
7 sentence "the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognised as an
8 independent" - I'm underlining- "nation by the United States and countries
9 of the European community as of 7th of April, 1992." As I said, maybe
10 it's a matter of language, but what is the difference between
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a nation and Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state? We
12 lawyers sometimes are so -- we are pursuing and we are trying to split a
13 hair on two, and as I said, maybe it's a kind of imprecision, but I will
14 leave it.
15 Yesterday, the Prosecution again raised the issue of the
16 international armed conflict, pages 30 and 31 of the yesterday's
17 transcript, and appears to again invite the Trial Chamber to take judicial
18 notice thereof. With regard to the Defence submission related to the
19 findings of the Badinter commission, opinion number 2, paragraph 2, "the
20 basis for changing the findings the commission are the following, the
21 commission referred to the Serb people in B and H as a minority," that is
22 a word used by Badinter commission in paragraph 2 of its opinion number 2.
23 When until that finding, Serb people in Bosnia were considered as a full
24 constituent nation, same as Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats. This word
25 is problematic. Number two, the Dayton Peace Accords reaffirm the right
1 of Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a full constituent nation, not
2 a minority. Number 3, following the general principles of law, pacta sum
3 servanda, the Dayton Peace Accords should be viewed as a source of
4 international law, and therefore the findings of the Badinter commission
5 are irrelevant and, in fact, annulled.
6 Although the Defence would prefer to use its limited time to
7 address other matters, it is compelled to once again respond to our
8 colleagues from the OTP by directing them to the decision of the Pre-trial
9 Chamber in this case on the 25 of March of 1999, to which the Defence has
10 already referred. Namely, in this decision, the Trial Chamber rejected
11 the Prosecution request to take judicial notice on the international
12 character of the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, emphasising on page 5
13 that Rule 94 is intended to cover facts and not legal consequences
14 inferred from them. And that the Trial Chamber can only take judicial
15 notice of factual findings, but not a legal characterisation as such. I
16 have one copy, so maybe after the break, I can give to my learned friends,
17 of the decision in this particular case rendered by that Trial Chamber
18 Judge May, Judge Benouna, and Judge Robinson.
19 In addition, the Prosecution mostly refers to paragraph 85 of our
20 joint statement of matters which are not in dispute, filed on 27 of April,
21 2001, and yes, in this paragraph, the Defence indeed concedes that an
22 armed conflict was taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between May and
23 December 1992. But, Your Honours, this is not the point. The question is
24 whether the conflict was international in character, and as I said, which
25 is a requisite element of application of Article 2 of the Statute. The
1 said paragraph 85 specifically refers to an armed conflict only in the
2 context of the requirement of Article 3, common to the four Geneva
3 Conventions of 1949. And Article 3 does not require as a prerequisite
4 element that the conflict be international. So in sum, the Defence
5 submits that such misleading reference by the Prosecution are nothing more
6 than a waste of precious time of this Honourable Trial Chamber's, and the
7 Defence hereby affirms its belief that this is a matter for the Trial
8 Chamber to decide.
9 In its submission on the Prosecution's stated that the
10 municipality of Bosanski Samac remained a part of both Seselj indictment
11 and Stanisic and Simatovic indictment, the Defence acknowledges that these
12 two indictments include factual basis of the events in Bosanski Samac.
13 However, the same Office of the Prosecution, and in this particular case,
14 what our friends made reference, this was really another unconstructive
15 reference on the Prosecution part because neither of these indictments,
16 Your Honours, contains charges under Article 2, but only under Article 3
17 of the Statute.
18 It speaks for itself. Their indictments speak for themselves.
19 Issue regarding Simo Zaric book. Your Honours, Zaric himself, the
20 author, codefendant, stated that this was an inaccurate representation of
21 events. The other persons wrote this book, and he was not under control,
22 et cetera. Due to that fact, this particular book, Simo Zaric book, I
23 believe it's P180, is absolutely without any weight. Zaric is not a legal
24 expert, and he is not qualified to pontificate on whether the events in
25 Bosanski Samac amounted to ethnic cleansing or any other form of crime
1 known to Statute of the Tribunal and international humanitarian law. The
2 testimony of Zaric should be cautiously considered when it comes to
3 Dr. Simic, because Zaric was a political opponent of Dr. Simic and had a
4 motive to fabricate events in order to deflect the blame from himself in
5 some parts. With regard to Variant A and B, as for the Variant A and B
6 which is Exhibit P3, the Prosecution has repeatedly referred to in an
7 attempt to establish the critical link that they need between Bosanski
8 Samac civilian authorities and the SDS top leadership. Rather than
9 bolstering their argument with hard facts, the Prosecution simply
10 reiterates the same tired story.
11 Since the Prosecution in fact cites only this unauthenticated and
12 unsigned piece paper, the Defence is compelled to respectfully direct the
13 Trial Chamber's attention to the relevant facts reached in this particular
14 case, including, inter alia, the following:
15 Number one, the Prosecution itself has admitted that unable to
16 produce a copy of this phantom exhibit that was supposedly sent to
17 Bosanski Samac. No evidence to that extent. The Defence submits the
18 reason for this is that it simply does not exist.
19 Number two, even the highest organ of Republika Srpska SDS
20 explicitly denied the existence of the said document. I'm quoting word
21 document. This is Defence Exhibit D23/1. Stating "the main board as well
22 as any other SDS body never considered or instructed the organisation and
23 activation of the Serb people in B and H at its session. And that "such
24 instructions were given by a certain number of retired officers of the
25 former Yugoslav People's Army, JNA." That's Exhibit D23/1.
1 Number 3, as it obvious from Prosecution Exhibit P124, the
2 preamble of the decision of the establishment of the Assembly --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Pantelic please be asked to slow down.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, can you slow down. The interpreters
5 have to get every word.
6 MR. PANTELIC: I do my best, Your Honour, because my situation is
7 always a race against time. I do apologise to interpreters.
8 As is obvious from Prosecution Exhibit P124, the preamble on the
9 decision on the establishment of the assembly of the Serb people of the
10 municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo explicitly states that the
11 creation of the assembly was based on the recommendation on the formation
12 of the municipal assemblies of the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 This particular recommendation was a legitimate decision of an legitimate
14 organ, namely People's Assembly of Republika Srpska, so this decision was
15 adopted by the national assembly of Republika Srpska, not pursuant to
16 Variant A and B, Bosanski Samac municipality was not formed pursuant to
17 Variant A and B, but simply pursuant to the recommendation, and the
18 decision which was published in Official Gazette of Republika Srpska,
19 number 1/92. And like all other legislation from the republican level, it
20 was not a secret document. It was not an illegitimate document, but
21 rather was an open and public decision. Everyone can read Official
22 Gazette of Republika Srpska number 1/92. And it is in preamble of Exhibit
23 P124. We could find it. Legal basis. Plebiscite of Serbian people,
24 recommendation which is a decision of Serbian legitimate assembly,
25 national assembly, and principles for self-determination of the nation,
1 Your Honours.
2 In addition, the decision of the republican parliament are binding
3 on municipalities, including Bosanski Samac. The Prosecution failed to
4 produce a single witness who would actually say "yes, the Municipal
5 Assembly in Bosanski Samac acted pursuant to this document, A and B
6 variant." No evidence to that extent. Further, the Prosecution could not
7 even produce a witness who even saw this alleged quoting document, phantom
8 document, anywhere in Bosanski Samac. On the contrary, several witnesses,
9 including Dr. Simic, testified that they had never seen or discussed this
10 document let alone implemented it. And again, Your Honours, this is
11 because the document does not exist.
12 And in fact, there is no evidence besides the Prosecution's
13 desperate, inferential leaps which would contain the acts of the municipal
14 organs with this document. The link simply is not there. Paragraph 3 of
15 the so-called phantom document, paragraph 3 of Variant B, which is dated
16 19 December 1991 calls for the immediate formation of Crisis Staff by the
17 SDS. However, it is an uncontested fact that the Crisis Staff of Bosanski
18 Samac was not then established by the SDS and did not consist only of
19 members of the SDS. As stated in Defence oral submission of 1st July, the
20 Defence and in our brief included several members of other parties, you
21 remember, socialist party, liberal party, reformist, et cetera, and even
22 no party memberships.
23 Moreover, it was not established until five months on 19 April
24 1992, after hostilities had broken out in the municipality and after, Your
25 Honours, an analogous Crisis Staff has been formed by the SDA and HDZ
1 headed -- this joint Crisis Staff headed by top-ranking Croat and Muslim
2 political leaders of the municipality of Samac. It was testified by
3 codefendant Zaric, transcript 19125, and it is not in dispute in this
4 case. And many other Defence witnesses. And, Your Honours, further
5 Defence Exhibit D43/1 clearly establishes military and political
6 objectives of municipal chapters, Samac municipal chapters, HDS [sic],
7 HDZ, Crisis Staff, Croat Crisis Staff, which were implemented through
8 formation of Croat Muslim municipality of Bosanski Samac Domeljevac on
9 17th of April, 1992, in partition of the territory of Bosanski Samac
11 Just few words about this exhibit D43/1: Throughout the process
12 of disclosure, the Prosecution, Your Honours, the Prosecution provided
13 this document to the Defence. That's their document, Your Honours. And
14 during the Prosecution case, they did not tender these documents into
15 evidence. I know why. It is because this exhibit is devastating for the
16 Prosecution case. The truth is only one, Your Honours. The truth of
17 Samac case is that the Croat/Muslim leadership in Samac planned well in
18 advance partition of the municipality on the ethnic grounds, and now we
19 have the situation in accordance with the Croat and Muslim plan. And
20 furthermore, in her plea agreement Ms. Plavsic never mentioned or referred
21 to Bosanski Samac in any manner whatsoever. So this agreement that the
22 Defence submits is entirely irrelevant for these proceedings and should
23 therefore be disregarded by this Trial Chamber.
24 Another unfounded theory of the Prosecution concerns the
25 relationship of SDS and JNA in Samac municipality. The Defence will not
1 waste its time on this. It merely would like to respectfully direct the
2 Trial Chamber's attention to portion of the Defence brief, namely
3 paragraphs 215, 251, 506 --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Can you please slow down, Mr. Pantelic.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you slow down.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Otherwise the record won't make sense.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
9 561, 601, as well pages 137, 168, and 169. There is not even a
10 single piece of evidence that the SDS in Samac cooperated with JNA in
11 Samac municipality. On the contrary, there is evidence that SDS and JNA
12 were often at odds with one another.
13 After all this, Your Honour, the Prosecution still maintains that
14 the only reasonable inference for the creation of a Crisis Staff is that
15 it was done pursuant to this document which cannot produce any which --
16 and which no one has seen. The Prosecution again raised the issue of the
17 alleged -- of the alleged document -- just a moment. Of the alleged
18 document this is Exhibit P71, yesterday on transcript page 33. Needless
19 to say, the Defence thoroughly addressed the Prosecution document during
20 the entire proceedings and in particular in its final brief and the
21 closing arguments.
22 Again the Defence draws the Trial Chamber's attention to the
23 following facts: It is well established during the trial proceedings that
24 more than one stamps of the Crisis Staff was in operation in that period,
25 specifically the Trial Chamber witness, Mitar Mitrovic, secretary of
1 Crisis Staff and of Serbian municipality, testified that there had been no
2 special control over the stamp's utilisation, indicating the possibility
3 of the stamp's misuse. All Defence witnesses, members of the Crisis
4 Staff, as well as the other municipal officials who gave evidence before
5 this Honourable Trial Chamber categorically denied that the Crisis Staff
6 ever adopted this or any similar decision. This is a criminal trial. We
7 have to see whether the level of reasonable doubt was reached by the
8 Prosecution. They have the burden of proof. We cannot speculate to
10 The evidence does not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the
11 signature belongs to Dr. Simic, which is explicitly confirmed by the
12 Defence expert witness Professor Aleksic. The text of the decision is
13 written in Latin script, and the Defence respectfully reminds once again
14 that all decisions and acts of the Crisis Staff were written in Cyrillic
15 alphabet. On the other hand, all other and decisions of the police, we
16 have that in exhibits, were written exclusively in Latin alphabet.
17 In addition to that, codefendant Zaric gave evidence that he had
18 seen copies of this document in the police building allegedly which
19 further proves, assuming that -- that he saw, that this is an entirely
20 police and military matter, as Defence stated before. And finally, Your
21 Honours, you can see on Exhibit P71, there is no title as usual, as it was
22 in other Crisis Staff documents. It said only "Crisis Staff," municipal
23 Crisis Staff. There is no -- a keyword which is often used here to blame
24 my client, the keyword is the president. Compare this document P71 with
25 the other documents, and you will see the word
1 "president" is never -- it's not on the P71. And we addressed this
2 particular issue in many details, Your Honours, in our brief, including
3 the terms "vital objects" used in this particular document, and all other
4 aspects and positions of the Defence.
5 Your Honour, it seems that I'm almost at the end of my submission
6 after two years of trial proceedings. Good moments, sad moments, that's
7 the life of a lawyer, that's a part of trial proceedings. But if the time
8 will permit, I will not now interfere with the submission of my learned
9 friends. I would like to have a permission to express my gratitude to
10 this Trial Chamber, to the participants, at the end of our submissions.
11 Probably I would have a few minutes. But now, with regard to the
12 sentencing, with regard to the proposal of Prosecution regarding
13 Dr. Simic, they asked between 20 and 25 years of the prison. Dr. Simic,
14 as I stated a million times here, he is not guilty. They did not respond
15 to our questions, Your Honours, posed on the transcript on the record on
16 the 1st of July. Many questions with regard to the particular mens rea of
17 Dr. Simic, what he did, how he acted, and what was the atmosphere in Samac
19 I addressed several matters with regard to the case law and other
20 legal requirements in our brief with regard to the issue of possible
21 sentencing, although Dr. Simic should be pronounced not guilty. This is a
22 historic and unique chance, Your Honours, that these three men here should
23 be acquitted, unique chance for the public opinion in former Yugoslavia,
24 but we know that Croats were acquitted by this Tribunal, Muslims were
25 acquitted. And frankly, I'm not entering into the analysis of the other
1 cases. This is a unique historical chance, Your Honours, that these three
2 defendants will be acquitted, first of all my client, of course.
3 In conclusion, Your Honour, what I can say with regard to the
4 issue of proposed sentence, I will tell you: 2003, Dr. Simic goes free.
5 That is the position of the Defence, Your Honours. And I will say it in
6 B/C/S language, because the spirit of the language is different, "[B/C/S
7 spoken]." This is the position of the Defence. Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Pantelic. Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. As I
10 address the Trial Chamber today,, as I make my last submissions, I have to
11 say something obviously with great delay because my client indicated this
12 to me often during the trial, but I thought this was not that relevant,
13 and I'm afraid that this is coming in very late, but I have to say this
14 for the transcript. My client during these proceedings had terrible
15 problems due to the fact that his last name is Tadic and that another
16 indictee before this Tribunal had the same name, Tadic. So often when the
17 name Tadic was used, this was reflected on my client. My client said to
18 me several times that I should draw the attention of the Court to that,
19 especially when legal issues were being discussed in the courtroom, I
20 thought that we all knew who the Tadic who was being referred to was. But
21 yesterday, when my learned friend spoke about the joint criminal
22 enterprise of Tadic together with Knezevic, we all know who this is, but I
23 wanted it to be reflected in the transcript that Miroslav Tadic has
24 nothing to do with all these charges related to the Prijedor area.
25 Now I wish to add something to what Mr. Pantelic said very
1 briefly. In my final brief, I also raised a few questions asking the
2 Prosecutor to get answers. But I did not give a -- get a single answer to
3 my questions. I didn't hear any during their final submissions now, and I
4 will expect to get these answers from the Trial Chamber. Now what is it
5 that I wanted to know? I wanted to know certain things, but then the
6 Prosecution did not respond to that. But obviously they highlighted other
7 things that they attach importance to. First I'm going to say a few words
8 about demographic experts Ewa Tabeau, the Prosecution expert, and also the
9 word that obviously hurt the Prosecution, the word I used, and that was
10 manipulation. The Prosecutor said yesterday that this was a minor error,
11 and it was rectified, and then this showed the high professional level of
12 their expert.
13 This is a word that is a resounding one, manipulation, but I, as a
14 layman, took it out of the expert opinion proffered by the Prosecution. I
15 did not challenge this through evidence of my own. I took this from her
16 evidence, from their analysis, from their Exhibit P131. This is not only
17 a minor error, Your Honours, because this minor error has led to a major
18 conclusion. It is analysis P133. And it was said that first Croats and
19 Muslims constituted a significant part of the population of the
20 municipality of Vukosavlje and then her tables and her analyses show that
21 in the municipality of Odzak Vukosavlje in 1991, there were six Muslims.
22 And she gave the figure of 2.250 originally, saying that Muslims lived in
23 the municipality. And then when I put that question to her, whether this
24 was an error, she said, "no, I did not take them into account." And then
25 when I asked her again, then she said, "yes, I made a mistake." And she
1 corrected her mistake. She corrected it, so that her credibility would
2 not go down the drain completely, and it already had been brought into
4 Our expert, Svetlana Radovanovic, did not say what Mr. Di Fazio
5 said yesterday, that there were no ethnic changes in the composition of
6 the population. She said something different. And this is what I
7 referred to in my final brief and closing arguments, that there were no
8 scrupulous, accurate sources of data that can give us the answer that is
9 required. And then she said if we were to look at the entire territory,
10 if the municipality had not been divided and also if certain settlements
11 were not to be singled out, the divided settlements, then there would not
12 have been drastic changes in the ethnic composition of the population.
13 And she said that the analysis was not good because the sources were is
14 not good. That's what our expert said. The problem lies elsewhere.
15 Since we showed and proved that this method is bad and that the sources
16 are bad, although our expert said that this method can be applied but not
17 to this extent, not to discredit so many things and not to take them out
18 of context to such an extent, then the Prosecution really had a big
20 Why? Because, Your Honours, this method and these sources are not
21 the underlying thesis for Bosanski Samac in that case. It's not the case
22 of Bosanski Samac that's a problem for them. Look at the expertise of
23 Ewa Tabeau in the context of the Biljana Plavsic case and judgement, using
24 the same methods, the same sources, and nobody challenged that expert
25 opinion there. There was no cross-examination there. There was a guilty
2 The same expert, Ewa Tabeau, did this same expert opinion in the
3 Naletelic case and the Galic case, that is the problem of the
4 Prosecution. Because in the small Samac case, it was established that the
5 sources were bad. This Trial Chamber and this Court has an important task
6 that rulings cannot be made in criminal law on the basis of such poor
7 sources and such poor evidence. We have offered other evidence to you,
8 and you will certainly make your judicial assessment on that basis.
9 Mrs. Radovanovic said to Judge Lindholm, if the sources were is good, if
10 they were proper, can it be established when the population changed and
11 she said quite clearly when this happened. We have sources from 1991 and
12 1997, and we have the indictment of 1991 and 1993. Now, what are we
13 supposed to do, to say that everybody left in 1994? This would not be
14 helpful to the Trial Chamber. It would not assist them.
15 As for Esad Dagovic, I'm not going to squander my time on him. I
16 think that the Zaric Defence counsel will speak about him, at least in a
17 few words. May I just present our point of view with regard to that
18 witness. This witness took that paper that everybody reads here before
19 this Trial Chamber. He also made a solemn declaration claim. Read the
20 statement of his father, read the statement of Fitozovic, and he said,
21 "yes, the little waiter was a member of our SDA patrols." And this Esad
22 Dagovic swore an oath before you here.
23 Now, I would like to say a few other things. And then the
24 Prosecution says that my client is lying. That's the way they linked all
25 of this up. As for the letter to the patriarch, I wish to say a few
1 words. First of all, I'm going to say that my client is a very religious
2 man. You have heard testimony to that effect, you also have the
3 deposition of a priest, and you have heard other evidence here. Would
4 somebody compromise himself by making such claims and invoking the name of
5 the patriarch? I know that the question that I've raised just now is not
6 argumentation in a criminal trial. You all know what Tadic said. All
7 witnesses who were members of the Crisis Staff say that this letter was
8 not discussed at the Crisis Staff meeting. It is only the repenting
9 Stevan Todorovic who has said otherwise, and something similar is said by
10 the signatory of that letter Mitar Mitrovic. Witness Q confirmed during
11 his examination-in-chief by the Prosecution, and also during the
12 cross-examination, that Tadic told him about his conversation with the
13 patriarch. Who is the Trial Chamber going to believe? Todorovic,
14 Mitrovic, or Witness Q? Please read that part of the conversation in
15 detail, what Witness Q said that Tadic had told him. What would Tadic's
16 interest be in starting to testify about this particular subject if nobody
17 had put him in the context of that letter except for the fact that at that
18 time he was a member of the Crisis Staff, and this is also relevant in
19 terms of other documents. Tadic wanted to tell the Trial Chamber
20 something that he had experienced, something that he is proud of, he is
21 proud of having spoken to the patriarch, and he is proud of the fact that
22 he conveyed parts of this conversation to other people, and he is proud of
23 how he told Mitrovic and Todorovic about that. It is somebody else who
24 should bow their heads in relation to that letter. As for the other
25 alleged lie told by my client, that he took part in the events of the 17th
1 of April by collecting weapons, had the Prosecution heard properly what I
2 said, and I had said that Tadic did not participate at all in anything
3 that happened between the 16th and 17th of April, that's what he said and
4 he did not lie. Tadic took part in the collection of weapons, and he did
5 not lie. Where did he lie? This was on the 18th. And this was confirmed
6 by witnesses, first and foremost, his commander, Radovan Antic who said
7 that on the 18th, of the morning, he told him to collect weapons or to
8 take part in supervising weapons collection in the Fourth Quarter.
9 Zasavica was mentioned yesterday as well, whether this transfer
10 had taken place in May or in August. We indeed have the testimony of
11 Jelena Kapetanovic who was in Crkvina, and she said that part of the women
12 from neighbouring villages were transferred to Zasavica in the month of
13 May. That is what Petar Karlovic said as well, that he heard some
14 families were transferred to Zasavica. Pasaga Tihic, whose name the
15 Prosecution invoked, did not say that. He just said that people were
16 taken from the village and Zasavica is mentioned in that context. But it
17 was not said that they were taken to Zasavica.
18 Again, I'm going to remind you of Witness Q. In response to the
19 questions put by the Prosecution and the Defence, he said that 4.500
20 inhabitants of Croat villages, precisely these villages, Hasici, Novo
21 Selo, Tisina, left that territory on the 16th, 17th, and 18th of April.
22 That he went through his parish, and he did not see anyone except for
23 soldiers, not a single person who had been transferred to Zasavica in May.
24 There was no one there. There were these 400 to 500 men, and he himself
25 said that Stjepan Blazanovic took about 250, and 250 were detained.
1 That's what he said. You will read his statement. What I heard yesterday
2 from Mr. Weiner is what I really wanted to hear, exactly. All these
3 documents that I referred to, as well as Mr. Weiner, show that there is
4 organisation in forced labour or rather work obligation. It is correct,
5 there is a link between the Executive Board, the Ministry of Defence, and
6 the secretariat for the economy and other secretariats. That is what I
7 claimed, but that's not what they claimed in their final brief. They
8 claimed something completely different. They claimed that Miroslav Tadic
9 was at the top of the pyramid of forced labour, number one. But that's
10 not what they said yesterday.
11 Now, what did they say yesterday? It is correct, this is who did
12 this, the Ministry of Defence, and their other beneficiaries or rather
13 secretariats in cooperation with the Executive Board. It was not the
14 civilian protection staff that was involved there. It is the way we had
15 said it was. Yes, they addressed the Ministry of Defence and they asked
16 for people from the work brigade. They asked for specialised glass
17 cutters so that the window panes could be changed, yes. Is that what he
18 is guilty of, that glass was put on window panes in houses in Samac? And
19 do you know what happened after that? They realised that it was useless
20 to put glass because all the windows crumbled, so then they put plastic
21 sheets, that's what they did. Yes. And then upon instructions of the
22 Executive Board in accordance with document D113/3, they took glass from
23 Uniglas, Uniglas is a glass factory. They did not take it off houses and
24 roofs the way the Prosecution has been trying to put it. There is no
25 evidence to that effect, nobody said that, not even their witness Nusret
1 Hadzijusufovic who was their witness with regard to forced labour. The
2 Prosecution remained disarmed with regard to their thesis on forced
3 labour. They did not present a shred of evidence to the effect that my
4 client and his civilian protection staff had anything to do with forced
5 labour. It was work obligation that was conducted according to procedure.
6 Again, may I say that yesterday we heard a thesis of the
7 Prosecution, and what we heard from Mr. Re is something that I understand
8 in the following way: Cooperation with the Prosecution exists only if an
9 accused person makes a confession. But it's not important to tell the
10 truth; it is important that they say what I, the Prosecutor, am interested
11 in having them say, what I can use in order to prove my own case. That is
12 what they call cooperation. No. It is for the Trial Chamber so assess
13 who cooperated with the Office of the Prosecutor. It is not for them to
15 The Court knows that my client provided the Office of the
16 Prosecution with 60 documents, and they used them in their case. The
17 Court knows that my client gave an interview, that they introduced into
18 evidence and that they showed to witnesses when they wanted to shake
19 them. You know that Miroslav Tadic said such and such a thing in his
20 interview. That's the way they would put it. Gentlemen of the
21 Prosecution, did this perhaps not suit you in terms of important
23 This Trial Chamber will assess what meaningful cooperation is in
24 terms of quantity, quality, and whether there were some interests. There
25 is clear jurisprudence in this respect from the Blaskic case, the Kordic
1 case, I think there was quite a bit of reference that was made to that.
2 Your Honours, after 234 days, I conclude my submissions to this
3 Court. I just wish to say a few more words. May I say that it is not all
4 the same to me, although I've made every effort to be a professional, but
5 I do want to say a few words regarding my own attitude towards this Court
6 and towards my client. In the country that I come from, judgements are
7 passed on behalf of the people, in the name of the people. That is how
8 the preamble of a judgement starts, like in many other countries I
9 presume. Your Honours, you are passing judgement on behalf of the
10 international community. Your mandate was given to you on behalf of the
11 entire world. You are passing judgement on behalf of the international
12 community. You are trying people under the same flag under which Miroslav
13 Tadic served in Sinai in 1960. He believed deeply when he surrendered to
14 this Court that the Court, this Honourable Trial Chamber that has had
15 highest mandate, this paramount mandate from the international community
16 will fairly and justly weigh all the evidence and the story he had to
17 tell. I must say that personally, as a professional and as Defence
18 counsel, I'm convinced of that.
19 In conclusion, may I ask the Trial Chamber whether it would be
20 possible for our clients to address the Trial Chamber if they wish to do
21 so after these 234 days. I believe that they deserve that. May I just
22 say one more thing, that it has been a professional honour, a great
23 professional honour for myself and for my colleague Mr. Krgovic to
24 represent persons before this Court and that everything that I heard and
25 learned here is something that I hope I will be able to draw on in my
1 practice, and I will be pleased if at least part of the legal efforts we
2 made will leave some trace before this Tribunal.
3 I wish to thank you, and I think that I have to say one more
4 thing. I think I have to apologise to the interpreters for all the things
5 they said to me and to my colleague Mr. Krgovic over these past two
6 years. Two days ago, they said to me that I finally slowed down and
7 started speaking at a proper pace. And Mr. Tadic also objected when he
8 said, Why is my Defence attorney in such a hurry? I also which to wish
9 Mr. Krgovic and I also wish to thank our assistants who were so helpful in
10 these proceedings. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. Mr. Pisarevic or
12 Mr. Lazarevic.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. The Defence of
14 Mr. Zaric will very briefly give its reply to certain allegations of the
15 Prosecution and to some position that the Prosecution made clear in their
16 reply to our closing arguments. But before that, I would first to reply
17 to something that Mr. Pantelic has just said regarding political positions
18 of Mr. Zaric and positions of Mr. Blagoje Simic. And I can confirm, it is
19 the truth that Mr. Zaric and Mr. Zaric [sic] were and still are political
20 opponents. That's true, but --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: You mentioned the two names. You said Mr. Zaric and
22 Mr. Zaric.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: Mr. Zaric and Mr. Simic, Blagoje Simic. I
24 apologise. But the fact that they were political opponents was not the
25 reason that Mr. Zaric gave his evidence the way he did. Mr. Zaric
1 testified before this Tribunal under oath in order to give evidence of
2 events that happened in Bosanski Samac in 1992 in order to tell the truth,
3 and this is the only reason that his evidence is the way it is. It has
4 nothing to do with his political positions, with his participation in the
5 political party which is opponents to SDS.
6 Mr. Di Fazio, talking about credibility of certain witnesses,
7 mentioned Witness Esad Dagovic, and as my dear colleague Mr. Lukic said, I
8 will address the Trial Chamber the credibility of this witness because I
9 believe that this is very characteristic situation regarding this
10 witness. Mr. Di Fazio tried to explain some contradictions in the
11 evidence of this evidence saying that it is easy to confuse a tank with an
12 APC, and that it has been ten years since the incidents occurred back in
13 1992. And it is true what Mr. Di Fazio said. It is easy for someone who
14 is not a military person to confuse a tank or an APC, and it is true that
15 it has been ten years since it happened. But this is not the issue.
16 The issue related to the credibility of this witness is not
17 whether he could recognise a difference between a tank and an APC, but the
18 issue is why this witness said that on 17 of April, he went for a brief
19 period to pizzeria, together with Hasan Bicic, that he had breakfast with
20 Hasan and Muhamed Bicic, and then he returned home and remained at his
21 home during this whole day. Why did he say that? Or rather, why Witness
22 Kemal Mehinovic, Prosecution witness, on page 7572 and 73 said that he saw
23 Esad Dagovic armed with an automatic rifle in front of the building
24 so-called Carrington building in Bosanski Samac with a group of other
25 Muslim men, also armed with automatic rifles. Why would Prosecution
1 Witness Kemal Mehinovic say that?
2 Why would father of Esad and Safet Dagovic said - we have this in
3 document C1 - that both his sons participated in fighting during the 17 of
4 April, and that they returned to their document in early morning of 18 of
5 April. These are the issues of importance for the credibility of Witness
6 Esad Dagovic. And not just for the testimony of Witness Esad Dagovic,
7 also for the testimony and the evidence of witnesses Hasan Bicic, Muhamed
8 Bicic, Hasan Subasic, and Witness M. None of these witnesses didn't want
9 to admit that they participated in resistance, that they had been
10 organised, and that on the 17 of April they offered resistance to Serb
12 To be honest, I'm not blaming them for that. All right, they
13 heard shots. They saw that something is happening in town. They took
14 their weapons and went out to offer resistance. But why they lied before
15 this Tribunal that they were at their homes and they didn't do it, this is
16 the question that the Trial Chamber should ask itself.
17 One issue that Mr. Re raised in his reply is in relation to
18 Mr. Zaric's book. Mr. Re suggested that Mr. Zaric, during his evidence,
19 should have pointed all the inconsistencies and all the mistakes that he
20 made in his books. What we would like to say, that the
21 examination-in-chief of Mr. Zaric lasted for full seven days of valuable
22 and expensive trial time. Going through each and every paragraph of
23 Mr. Zaric's book would take -- under our estimation, it would take at
24 least two or three more days. And I don't believe that this Trial
25 Chamber would allow us to do that. It is -- it was our impression.
1 Mr. Zaric himself in his evidence said and pointed to a few examples
2 regarding dates, events, names, et cetera, that are incorrect in his
3 book. We thought it was enough for the Trial Chamber to have a clear
4 picture about what weight should be given to such an evidence.
5 I don't want the Trial Chamber to get the wrong impression that
6 Mr. Zaric is ashamed of his book. He's not. Quite the contrary, he is
7 very proud on his book. Mr. Zaric would like just to say that, and he
8 said already in his evidence here, that the book was written in Ekavian
9 dialect, the dialect that he does not use, that the introduction of his
10 book is quite the opposite from his political positions, written by a
11 person who doesn't share the same political ideals as Mr. Zaric. There
12 was an example that Mr. Maxim Simeunovic who was a witness here, was
13 referred there as Maksimovic in this book, and then there was one omission
14 regarding the date of the incident in Crkvina, 7th or 8th of May. So just
15 to give some examples of some inconsistencies with his book.
16 When Mr. Zaric wrote his book, it wasn't his intention that his
17 book should be evidence in any legal proceedings. Having in mind that
18 Mr. Zaric was warned by the Prosecution on three occasions when he gave
19 interviews that everything he said can be used against him in the
20 proceedings, as well as the fact that Mr. Zaric testified here under oath
21 that he gave a solemn declaration, the value of these evidence, meaning
22 interviews of Mr. Zaric and his evidence before the Trial Chamber, is far
23 greater than one Romanesque view of the events that happened.
24 The Trial Chamber shouldn't give the weight, the probative value,
25 to Mr. Zaric's book greater than the value given to those written by
1 Mr. Sulejman Tihic, Dragan Delic, Dragan Lukac, and some other witnesses.
2 Their books this Trial Chamber didn't want to admit into evidence. And in
3 particular regarding the allegation of the Prosecution that the book of
4 Mr. Zaric is the best evidence of cooperation between Serbian government
5 and the JNA, we would like to draw the Trial Chamber's interest to one
6 particular chapter of Mr. Zaric's book. And it is called
7 "Hymn to the Army." It speaks for itself.
8 Your Honours, is it time for us to take our usual break?
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we will take our break.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. And just a few more words
14 regarding Mr. Zaric's book, the importance of messages sent to the public
15 through Mr. Zaric's book is the condemnation of crimes, ethnic
16 intolerance, and all other bad things that happened in Bosanski Samac, and
17 that the only right way to understand Mr. Zaric's book. The Defence is
18 very pleased with the Prosecutor's position that the book of Mr. Zaric
19 should be read in its entirety because this is the only it could be
20 understood in a proper way. His book was highly valuated, relevant
21 persons in Yugoslavia, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And the main thing about
22 this book is its contribution in order to reunite people in Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina and the courage to condemn all the bad things committed by
24 people of his own ethnicity. The Prosecution suggested that from the fact
25 that Mr. Zaric saw Document P71 in three offices in police station, it can
1 be concluded that he was a chief of national security in Bosanski Samac.
2 The mere presence of Mr. Zaric in police station, of course, cannot be
3 used to make a conclusion that he carried any official post within the
4 police, as the Prosecution is trying to suggest.
5 Without any wish to elaborate more on this fact, the Defence of
6 Mr. Zaric could give a couple of examples of what Mr. Zaric could have
7 done in the police station. He could have had a coffee with his
8 acquaintance; he could have gone there to extend his driving license
9 validity, his ID validity, or for whatever other reason.
10 It seems that the Prosecution didn't understand fully what Mr.
11 Pisarevic said in his closing arguments regarding the role of legally
12 elected government and the role of Yugoslav People's Army in all this.
13 What Mr. Pisarevic said is that in all parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina in
14 which municipal governments were replaced by some other governments, for
15 example, Crisis Staff or whatever, the JNA didn't intervene in order to
16 re-establish the previous government. And it made no difference to the
17 JNA whether these newly established governments or authorities were
18 Bosniak, Croat, or Serb. The JNA didn't intervene in Odzak when the
19 Crisis Staff took over. The JNA didn't intervene in Tuzla, in Mostar, in
20 Livno, in Bugojno, in Vitez, where Croat-dominated or Muslim-dominated
21 Crisis Staffs took over. And this was the real meaning of what
22 Mr. Pisarevic said. The position of JNA was not to intervene and not to
23 interfere in such occurrences.
24 And just a few more words regarding the lack -- alleged lack of
25 cooperation of Mr. Zaric with the Prosecution. Having in mind that Mr. Re
1 said that the Prosecution through myself wanted to talk to Mr. Zaric, and
2 of course that Mr. Pisarevic was informed in that respect because he
3 wasn't in The Hague at that time, I have to admit that it is true what
4 Mr. Re said. But in order to give some more light on this episode, I
5 believe that the Trial Chamber is entitled to have a full information on
6 this. Of course, I will not break the confidentiality of my talks with
7 the Prosecution, and I will not give any detail that might jeopardise the
8 confidentiality of our talks. But I believe I'm not doing this by saying
9 that it was initiated by the Prosecution in order to try to find if there
10 is any possibility of plea bargaining with Mr. Zaric. This was not a
11 formal request of the Prosecution to have an additional interview with Mr.
12 Zaric; it was a call for plea bargaining. After informing Mr. Zaric about
13 the details of the proposal, he said that he will never admit his guilt
14 for any of the crimes as they are stated in the indictment and that his
15 position hasn't changed since 1998 when first letter sent by the
16 Prosecution with a proposal for a plea bargain. He said he's not guilty,
17 he doesn't feel guilty, and he cannot say that he's guilty for something
18 that he hasn't done. And from this point of view, since the Defence
19 doesn't see that plea bargain negotiation are same thing as lack of
20 cooperation, namely that the Prosecution asked for interview with Mr.
21 Zaric and that he refused it, he believe that we said the truth when we
22 said that the Prosecution didn't want to talk to Mr. Zaric.
23 At the end, regarding this same issue, the Defence of Mr. Zaric
24 has to say something that believes deeply, and this is that the sentencing
25 recommendation of the Prosecution is some sort of revenge for Mr. Zaric's
1 position regarding his plea bargain. A few more words about personal
2 notes of Mr. Zaric that were mentioned here, during cross-examination of
3 Mr. Zaric, Mr. Re had the opportunity to ask Mr. Zaric whether he wants to
4 hand over his personal notes or not. Just that simple question. Mr. Re
5 didn't do it. So the position of Mr. Zaric's Defence is that is unfair
6 that the Prosecutor's final brief, this alleged lack of cooperation - I
7 apologise - should be considered as such when Mr. Re never actually asked
8 for these personal notes, nor Mr. Re, nor the Trial Chamber, would never
9 know what the answer of Mr. Zaric would be.
10 At the end, I would like on behalf of Mr. Pisarevic and myself to
11 say that it was our great privilege to be Defence counsel in this case
12 before this Honourable Trial Chamber and to express our gratitude to all
13 the members of our team, including Ms. Maja Dokmanovic, our case manager,
14 to everybody they contributed in the Defence of Mr. Zaric. Thank you.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
16 Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, if I could be in a situation to
18 address the Trial Chamber only a few minutes because I mentioned during my
19 submission that I would like to express my personal honour on behalf of my
20 Defence teams acting before this Trial Chamber and in this Tribunal. But
21 before that, Your Honour, please just allow me for the record to mention a
22 number of footnotes where the Defence, footnotes of the Prosecution brief,
23 where the Defence find some serious inconsistencies, so it maybe assist
24 the Trial Chamber in their evaluation of the parties' submissions. Namely
25 these are the footnotes from the OTP's brief 66, 98, 99, 154, 206, 244,
1 246, 276, 314, 363, 440, 553, 826, and 891. There are some technical
2 errors, but there are some substantial issues and sort of errors which are
3 of the importance for the evaluation of the case in its totality. So
4 thank you very much for your attention.
5 And Your Honour, on behalf of Dr. Simic's Defence team, I would
6 like to express my great honour that I was able to act before this
7 Honourable Trial Chamber and in this Honourable Tribunal. Throughout this
8 period of more than 200 hearing days, all of us here in this courtroom
9 worked very hard, to the best of our abilities. Also, I would like to
10 express my great honour and my gratitude to our learned friends from the
11 Prosecution bench. They worked vigorously, they really presented their
12 case in a highly professional manner. While the role of the Defence is to
13 challenge the Prosecution case, and finally the Trial Chamber will decide,
14 but as I said, speaking on behalf of all Defence teams in this case, it
15 was a great, really great privilege to work with our friends from the
16 Prosecution bench. We learned a lot from them. They are
17 well-experienced, common-law lawyers. It was a great experience for us
18 coming from continental law system, civil-law system. And also we learned
19 a lot from their mistakes, because we are Defence, and then we are trying
20 to make manoeuvring area for our case. And I also would like to thank
21 them for both of the contributions.
22 Then, Your Honour, we would like to express our gratitude to the
23 members of the registry and to the members of the court department, court
24 officers acting in this case. They were enormously favourable to us in
25 many of the issues, technical issues, procedural issues, out of hearing
1 hours, and that was a great privilege and a great honour for us to meet
2 and to work with such decent and highly professional colleagues. Also, I
3 would like to express my great honour and gratitude to the hard work of
4 the interpretation unit, our friends from interpreters' booths. I know
5 that they were in many occasions in so stressful situations that certain
6 presentation or positions of the parties were, and then they try always to
7 resolve these matters and to inform us in order to have a clear picture,
8 clear transcript, and finally to have actually a proper case. So again, I
9 really would like to thank to all of them. Also, I would like to express
10 our gratitude to the colleagues from the technical booth, video unit, and
11 other services. We met a lot of them. Also, needless to say that members
12 of victims and witness unit are also, in our eyes, one of the keystones of
13 the work of the Tribunal in order to prepare everything that the trial can
14 go on. They were enormously professional with regard to the witnesses, in
15 regard to the arrangements, with regard to the passports, visas, and many,
16 many very serious issues that the Defence and as well as Prosecution faced
17 in order to present their case.
18 And also, the Defence would like to express our gratitude to all
19 members of security unit, to all members -- all officers of security
20 department of the Tribunal, as well as UN Detention Unit with the head of
21 the Detention Unit, Commander Mr. Tim McFadden. They help us in every
22 aspect of our work whenever it was necessary to meet the client in the
23 detention facilities within the Tribunal, whenever it was necessary to
24 help us in many, many other aspects of our daily life and our daily work.
25 And finally, Your Honours, allow me to address another matter with
1 regard to the media coverage of this particular case. We know what is the
2 role of the Tribunal. We know what is the importance of the Tribunal, and
3 we know what is the influence of the work of the Tribunal for the
4 restoration of peace and multiethnic relations in former Yugoslavia.
5 Practically all members of media working here as professionals did their
6 job highly professionally, highly professionally. I must outline that
7 technical units of the Tribunal and via satellite through the network B92
8 for Belgrade, at least in Serbia, the public opinion can be afforded the
9 possibility to follow live coverage. However, Your Honours, I must say-
10 I'm speaking on behalf of my team - maybe the other colleagues will
11 support my submission - I must say that the network or the agency Sense
12 working here is highly unprofessional. It's editor in chief, Mr. Mirko
13 Klarin, who is solely responsible for the creation of the coverage of the
14 cases within this Tribunal showed, and it can be found on internet pages,
15 everyone can check what is the nature and what is the quality of the
16 coverage of Sense agency here. Let me give you a few examples. Our
17 friends --
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, I don't think that this is the proper
19 forum for that. If you have any complaints, please address them to the
20 Office of the Registrar.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I don't have any complaints. I'm
22 finishing in 30 seconds.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Please.
24 MR. PANTELIC: What I would like to say in terms of the role of
25 the Tribunal and in terms of the very great importance of the media
1 coverage, of the work of the Tribunal, I just want to outline, and I hope
2 that agency Sense, which is more maybe we can call nonsense, can change
3 their attitude towards the presentation of the Defence --
4 JUDGE MUMBA: You are again going into what I said this is not the
5 proper forum. Will you please sit down. I think you are finished.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, and I hope that Sense agency --
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Please sit down, Mr. Pantelic. The Trial Chamber
8 was asked to allow the accused persons to address the Trial Chamber
9 directly, and the Trial Chamber has accepted to do that. And will give
10 any of the accused who want to address the Chamber ten minutes, hoping
11 that they will restrict themselves to matters involved in this case that
12 is before the Trial Chamber.
13 MR. Di FAZIO: If Your Honours please, just very, very briefly,
14 thank you for making that clear, if Your Honours please, there's no
15 provision for this procedure in the rules. I just want to say that the
16 Prosecution would object to this course of action. Thank you.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, there's no express provision in the rules. But
18 there is nothing to stop the Trial Chamber to allow the accused persons
19 themselves to speak if they so wish. As this is their case, they are the
20 accused persons.
21 MR. Di FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: So I'll ask Dr. Simic if he wants to say anything.
23 You're not compelled to say anything. It's just that there was a request
24 before the Trial Chamber.
25 THE ACCUSED SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at the end of
1 this trial, I wish to express my deepest sympathy with all the victims of
2 the unhappy civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995. I wish
3 to thank all the participants in these legal proceedings. I wish to thank
4 Their Honours for their patience in hearing out all of us who had
5 something to say. I wish to thank the technical services for their
6 professional work. I wish to thank my Defence counsel for their patience
7 in understanding my high expectations from them. I cannot thank the
8 Prosecutors because they did not act correctly. But I can thank them
9 because I learned a lot from them. Although I entered these proceedings
10 without any legal knowledge whatsoever, I learned from them all the time.
11 The lack of correctness in relation to me manifested itself in the
12 presentation of many falsehoods, many half-truths and manipulations. My
13 Defence revealed this many times and directed Their Honours toward the
14 truth and the truth in this unhappy conflict.
15 I will add only one more thing referring directly to the
16 proceedings, that it is nothing new when I say that only those who have
17 weapons have power in a wartime situation. That is only those who use
18 weapons. I, dressed the way I was, had no power during the war, and I had
19 no authority. I never hit, killed, or raped anyone, nor did I ever see
20 anyone doing such things. I never asked anyone else to do such things. I
21 do not hate anyone, and I have never hated anyone. I hold no grudge
22 against anybody. I am convinced that the peoples of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina, although they warred among themselves many times throughout
24 history and had many conflicts in the past, will today find a way of
25 living together without this ever leading to war again. I'm convinced
1 that this last lesson they learned from this war will teach them to find
2 ways of living together. But I'm also convinced that the arbiters in such
3 agreement and negotiations can never be communists.
4 I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for
5 several emotional outbursts that I had before this Trial Chamber. I
6 reacted emotionally several times and lost control of my emotions. This
7 is not how I am usually, but this combination of half-truths,
8 manipulations, and lies led me to that kind of reaction for which I
9 apologise. And thank you again for hearing me out.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Miroslav Tadic, if you wish to address the
11 Trial Chamber.
12 THE ACCUSED TADIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will be very
13 brief. All these apologies and all this praise, that is, everything that
14 my Defence counsel said is something I support and will not repeat now.
15 Jesus said: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone" and nobody
16 cast a stone. It is not my intention to defend myself now because so much
17 has been said here, and the material is so voluminous that this would not
18 be possible. It is up to you to reach a judgement.
19 Your Honours, I have to say a few words about something into which
20 I have invested a lot of effort, knowledge, and, I might say, all of
21 myself. That is the exchanges. I was wholly engrossed in that, and I am
22 still preoccupied with it. I thought I was doing something humane,
23 helping people in distress. And the Prosecution position has not caused
24 me to waver in that conviction. A lot of work has been done on this by my
25 counsel, and I might add some people were killed doing that job, such as,
1 for example, Mr. Drljanic from Bosanski Brod. There are still many
2 missing persons whose fates are not known. Many families are still
3 waiting to hear news of their nearest and dearest, even if the news is
4 that they are dead. During my provisional release, I did a lot, but not
5 enough because I was limited in my movements. While staying at home, I
6 had the opportunity to meet quite a lot of people, the people who are
7 mentioned in these proceedings. Namik Suljic, whom you have heard about
8 here; Galib Nurkic; Stipo Dragicevic; Djuro Krajinovic; Goja with the
9 children; Mensur Tubakovic, also known as Pipa; Marko Prgomet;
10 Beba Salkic, the sister of Ibrahim Salkic who recently got married to a
11 relative of mine. All of them, whether they were exchanged or left in
12 some other way, treated me in a very friendly way, and I treated them the
13 same. I have enumerated only a few because the list of those who came to
14 share their reminiscences with me is very long, reminiscences from those
15 dreadful times. Your Honours, the commissions are still working, and they
16 will still have a lot to do on searching for missing persons. This will
17 go on for a long time. Commissions on all the warring sides are still
18 working on this. And my assistance will be very useful to them, whatever
19 the time when I'm able to leave The Hague. I will not speak about where
20 my colleagues are who worked in the commissions, and many of them are
21 still working there. My counsel spoke of this.
22 On Wednesday, the 2nd of July of this year, an exchange was
23 carried out, or rather a handover, between the previously warring sides,
24 and this took place on the border of the newly created countries, an
25 exchange of corpses. Your Honours, a wise man once said that if
1 somebody's holding a hammer in their hand, everything looks like a nail to
2 them. It was the Prosecution that held this hammer. I cannot escape the
3 impression that the Prosecution considers anyone sitting in this bench a
4 criminal. Fortunately, there is also a Trial Chamber. The only thing I
5 have ever been punished for is parking in the wrong place. All this looks
6 surreal to me, it looks impossible. All my knowledge of courts comes from
7 films I have seen on television. In these films, something usually
8 happens at the last moment leading to a happy end. I hope the same will
9 happen in these proceedings before this Tribunal. Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Simo Zaric.
11 THE ACCUSED ZARIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, participants in
12 these proceedings, I have only a few words to say. I'm deeply convinced
13 that only truth can lead to justice, and this was the motto under which I
14 operated when I surrendered to The Hague Tribunal. These very long trial
15 proceedings and my many years of abstaining from liberty never caused me
16 any temptation that I could not come through. My cooperation with the
17 Tribunal and especially the Prosecution was evident, and what weight and
18 value this Trial Chamber will attach to this is something I leave to the
19 Trial Chamber with full respect.
20 Of course, I am deeply disappointed and angry because my sincere
21 cooperation was denigrated by the Prosecution, which based many of their
22 theses on this cooperation. Long ago, in 1998, on the 24th of February, I
23 said, in front of several thousand citizens of Bosanski Samac seeing me
24 off to The Hague, that I was going there with courage and determination in
25 order to defend the honour and dignity of my nation and my family and
1 myself as a human being. At the end of these proceedings, more than ever
2 before in my life, I'm convinced that I have fulfilled this honourable
3 task fully and honourably. I wish to say that I'm an atheist, but I do
4 not mock believers. I respect their religious feelings fully. My
5 religion, my faith, my conviction in this drama I am going through are
6 placed only in you, Your Honours. I trust that you will reach the most
7 just decision.
8 What could incite honourable people, honest people, such as I was
9 during the war, should such a situation, God forbid, ever arise again,
10 what would happen if people like me had not been around? There would have
11 been many more victims. The suffering would have been much greater. In
12 my view, this would have been a tragedy. Punishment of several years in
13 prison is not a tragedy, in my view, nor is everything I went through
14 together with my family for the last five years. The greatest tragedy for
15 Simo Zaric would be to be branded a war criminal for the rest of my life.
16 I and my family would have to bear this brand through the rest of our
17 lives. But we have put forward arguments and honourable and true
18 testimonies to disprove this.
19 No sentence can make a nationalist of me, nor can it cause me to
20 deviate from my path in life. That is why I wrote this book. I beg you
21 to read it from cover to cover. It is not evidence in legal terms. What
22 I wanted to say in this book can be understood only if you read it from
23 cover to cover, rather than reading just extracts pulled out of context by
24 those who accuse me. That is why, Your Honours, I am deeply convinced
25 that you will reach the only right decision, which is that I am not guilty
1 and release me to enjoy the freedom I deserve together with my family
2 because I have done what I did. Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: We have now come to the end of our proceedings, and
4 this is the close of the proceedings in this trial. The Trial Chamber
5 will deliberate on the evidence and on the submissions, and the date of
6 judgement will be notified to the parties. The Court will rise.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
8 at 11.44 a.m.